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Maize school board rules out return to one high school

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, at 9:47 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 12:03 a.m.

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A plan to turn Maize South High School into a “freshman academy” and send all 10th- through 12th-graders to Maize High is off the table, according to district officials.

During a workshop Monday night, Maize school board members ruled out some options for student placement, including a return to a single high school, said district spokeswoman Lori O’Toole Buselt.

“They didn’t vote. They didn’t take any binding action. But they just kind of agreed that that (option) moves backward from the vision and what the district has been working toward,” Buselt said Tuesday.

Board members also agreed to continue the district’s transition to K-5 elementary schools, which was a goal of the 2007 bond issue and will be complete in 2015, Buselt said. Certain student placement options called for turning elementary schools into K-4 or K-6 buildings.

The Maize board met Monday to discuss changing the way students are assigned to schools and to hear an advisory committee’s report on a possible bond issue.

Board members expressed interest in a scientific survey to gauge preferences on student placement, including whether the district should draw boundaries, opt for a feeder pattern system or keep the current system.

Unlike most school districts, Maize has no geographical attendance boundaries that determine where a child goes to school. Instead, families with students in fifth and eighth grades submit preference cards indicating which middle or high school they would like their children to attend. The district assigns children to elementary schools during their initial enrollment, and siblings follow one another through the district.

Buselt said more information about a possible survey will be presented at the board’s next meeting March 10.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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